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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: storm warning
Message-ID: <5815@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 23-Jul-85 11:50:25 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.5815
Posted: Tue Jul 23 11:50:25 1985
Date-Received: Tue, 23-Jul-85 11:50:25 EDT
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 14

Connoisseurs of netnews at Toronto-area sites, and sites fed from Toronto-
area sites, should be aware that some of the system administrators near
the root of the local tree -- notably utzoo and utcs -- are getting less
and less happy with the ever-rising tide of gossip.  It is particularly
troubling that, of the 25 newsgroups accounting for 70% of the traffic,
only 4 are indisputably technical (9 if you give the benefit of the doubt
to various borderline cases), and none of these is in the top 10.

This is not an announcement of cutbacks.  Yet.  Consider it, as the title
suggests, a storm warning.  Constructive suggestions are welcome.  Flames
will be ignored.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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Posting-Version: version B 2.10.1 6/24/83; site ubc-vision.UUCP
Path: utzoo!utcsri!ubc-vision!majka
From: ma...@ubc-vision.UUCP (Marc Majka)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: re: storm warning
Message-ID: <1009@ubc-vision.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 23-Jul-85 17:08:08 EDT
Article-I.D.: ubc-visi.1009
Posted: Tue Jul 23 17:08:08 1985
Date-Received: Fri, 26-Jul-85 05:08:57 EDT
Organization: UBC Computational Vision Lab, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Lines: 12


Henry,  would you please post some of the statistics involved in the storm?
What are the top groups, and how much do they contribute to the volume of
news?   What are the costs, in CPU usage and in money spent on maintaining
news?  

It would be interesting and informative to compare these sorts of figures
from various sites, not just UT.  Does anyone else out there have any
numbers?

---
Marc Majka  -  UBC Laboratory for Computational Vision

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Posting-Version: version B 2.10.1 6/24/83; site hcradm.UUCP
Path: utzoo!hcrvax!hcradm!steve
From: st...@hcradm.UUCP (Steve Pozgaj)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: Re: storm warning
Message-ID: <2126@hcradm.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 24-Jul-85 09:55:41 EDT
Article-I.D.: hcradm.2126
Posted: Wed Jul 24 09:55:41 1985
Date-Received: Thu, 25-Jul-85 08:46:48 EDT
References: <5815@utzoo.UUCP>
Organization: Human Computing Resources, Toronto
Lines: 10

The posting from Henry Spencer about utzoo's being "less and less
happy with the ever-rising tide of gossip" brings to mind an old
cliche:

	People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Take that for what it's worth.

	Steve Pozgaj, HCR
	{decvax,utzoo,watmath}!hcr!steve

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: Re: storm warning
Message-ID: <5821@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 24-Jul-85 13:37:52 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.5821
Posted: Wed Jul 24 13:37:52 1985
Date-Received: Wed, 24-Jul-85 13:37:52 EDT
References: <5815@utzoo.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 19

I should have made a couple of points clearer in my posting:

1. I'm not saying "clean up your act, folks".  I doubt that the Canadian
	contributors to the various newsgroups account for enough material
	to make much difference.

2. I wasn't, actually, referring to the phone-bill problem (although it is
	a very real problem).  I was thinking more of the general issue:
	we are spending money on phones, spending cpu cycles on processing,
	spending disk space on storage, spending human effort on resolving
	problems with news flow, and tying up our modems for a non-trivial
	fraction of each day... for what?  Looking at the "top 25" listing,
	I get an overwhelming impression that the cost/benefit ratio is poor
	already and steadily getting worse.  Barring disasters, the limiting
	factor is more likely to be fed-up news administrators rather than
	excessive phone bills.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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Posting-Version: version B 2.10.1 6/24/83; site looking.UUCP
Path: utzoo!watmath!looking!brad
From: b...@looking.UUCP (Brad Templeton)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: Re: storm warning
Message-ID: <311@looking.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 25-Jul-85 00:00:00 EDT
Article-I.D.: looking.311
Posted: Thu Jul 25 00:00:00 1985
Date-Received: Fri, 26-Jul-85 07:26:03 EDT
References: <5815@utzoo.UUCP> <5821@utzoo.UUCP>
Organization: Looking Glass Software, Waterloo, Ont
Lines: 10
Summary: 

It would be interesting to take a poll to find out the real facts.
A message in each group with can or ont distribution saying, "This group
will be deleted if nobody sends in a message saying they find it valuable"

We might even find that nobody is seriously reading many groups.

Just to save disk space, I don't even send net.politics, net.religion and
net.flame to my machine.
-- 
Brad Templeton, Looking Glass Software Ltd. - Waterloo, Ontario 519/884-7473

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Posting-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: Re: storm warning
Message-ID: <5824@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 25-Jul-85 14:21:39 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.5824
Posted: Thu Jul 25 14:21:39 1985
Date-Received: Thu, 25-Jul-85 14:21:39 EDT
References: <5815@utzoo.UUCP>, <2126@hcradm.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 14

> The posting from Henry Spencer about utzoo's being "less and less
> happy with the ever-rising tide of gossip" brings to mind an old
> cliche:
> 
> 	People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Who, me, gossip?  Impossible.  Perish the thought.  Nah.  :-)

More seriously, my frequent yielding to temptation doesn't invalidate
my comments.  As I mentioned in my followup, even if the entire Canadian
subnet (including me) shut up, it probably wouldn't improve things much.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: Re: storm warning
Message-ID: <5829@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 26-Jul-85 12:11:26 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.5829
Posted: Fri Jul 26 12:11:26 1985
Date-Received: Fri, 26-Jul-85 12:11:26 EDT
References: <5815@utzoo.UUCP> <5821@utzoo.UUCP>, <311@looking.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 9

> A message in each group with can or ont distribution saying, "This group
> will be deleted if nobody sends in a message saying they find it valuable"

Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that most every major group is read by
*somebody* in Canada who would hate to see it vanish.  I have given up on
finding a solution that will make everybody happy.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: can.general
Subject: re: storm warning
Message-ID: <5830@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 26-Jul-85 12:22:08 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.5830
Posted: Fri Jul 26 12:22:08 1985
Date-Received: Fri, 26-Jul-85 12:22:08 EDT
References: <1009@ubc-vision.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 60

> Henry,  would you please post some of the statistics involved in the storm?
> What are the top groups, and how much do they contribute to the volume of
> news?

For the benefit of those who don't get/read mod.newslists, here is seismo's
latest list of top groups.  This doesn't include the Canadian groups, since
seismo is a US site, but the Canadian groups (with the possible exception
of can.politics :-)) are not that big anyway.  This list covers only the
last two weeks, but is probably reasonably representative of recent times.
It's also probably fairly representative of the situation at most places,
since most traffic is net-wide.

-----
         No. of        $ Cost  % of  Cumulative
Rank  Kbytes Articles per Site Total  % of Total  Group (Articles/contributor)
   1  1012.3      50     31.63 10.9%    10.9%     net.sources.mac (1.9)
   2   479.3     397     14.98  5.2%    16.1%     net.singles (2.7)
   3   446.3      65     13.95  4.8%    20.9%     net.sources (1.5)
   4   408.3     287     12.76  4.4%    25.3%     net.women (2.4)
   5   320.6     134     10.02  3.5%    28.7%     net.origins (3.4)
   6   293.0     217      9.16  3.2%    31.9%     net.politics (2.3)
   7   273.0     303      8.53  2.9%    34.8%     net.music (2.8)
   8   259.1     442      8.10  2.8%    37.6%     net.sf-lovers (3.7)
   9   249.2      19      7.79  2.7%    40.3%     net.sources.games (1.7)
  10   248.1     247      7.75  2.7%    42.9%     net.movies (2.0)
  11   231.3     239      7.23  2.5%    45.4%     net.flame (1.8)
  12   204.8     120      6.40  2.2%    47.6%     net.unix (2.1)
  13   197.0      89      6.16  2.1%    49.8%     net.religion.christian (2.8)
  14   188.0     241      5.88  2.0%    51.8%     net.lang.c (2.1)
  15   174.7     179      5.46  1.9%    53.7%     net.micro.pc (1.5)
  16   174.1      52      5.44  1.9%    55.5%     net.religion (2.3)
  17   173.7      67      5.43  1.9%    57.4%     net.philosophy (2.7)
  18   160.1     211      5.00  1.7%    59.1%     net.unix-wizards (1.7)
  19   156.5     272      4.89  1.7%    60.8%     net.jokes (1.6)
  20   154.8     146      4.84  1.7%    62.5%     net.micro.mac (1.5)
  21   146.0      74      4.56  1.6%    64.1%     net.politics.theory (3.5)
  22   141.1     169      4.41  1.5%    65.6%     net.physics (3.1)
  23   138.9     174      4.34  1.5%    67.1%     net.micro (2.5)
  24   128.8     100      4.02  1.4%    68.5%     net.news (2.2)
  25   121.5     161      3.80  1.3%    69.8%     net.consumers (1.5)

$ Cost is the cost of sending it over a 1200 baud, long distance, phone link
presuming $0.15 per minute and 800 baud effective throughput. 
-----

> What are the costs, in CPU usage and in money spent on maintaining news?  

As for CPU and disk usage, news is running well in excess of a megabyte
per day.  You can make your own guesses as to how much effort is needed
to process that much swill each and every day.

News maintenance per se is not a big cost item, but it's a noticeable
commitment on the part of the sysadmins involved.  Links fail or have
troubles, recurrences of the line-eater bug have to be traced, that
sort of thing.  It's just a little cut that won't stop bleeding.  If 90%
of the traffic were interesting technical material, it wouldn't be so
irritating.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry